Conflict in Darfur

Summary of Conflict

There are 40-80 ethnic groups in Darfur. Despite ethnic differences, there is a history of peaceful coexistence. Arabic, Fur and Massalit are just a couple of the local languages spoken in Darfur.

Darfurmap

Darfur borders Libya, Chad, and the Central African Republic

The conflict in Darfur began in 2003 when two Darfuri rebel movements – the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) –attacked the government military installations to fight against the ongoing political and economic marginalization of Darfur. The Sudanese government responded quickly and severely to quell the insurgency. Through planned military raids, with government-armed militia (the Janjaweed), the Sudanese military targeted the ethnic groups that gave support to the rebels. Civilian casualties were huge, over 400 villages were completely destroyed and millions of civilians were forced to flee their homes.

 protection

The United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force (UNAMID) replaced the “underfunded and under-equipped” African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur in January 2008. UNAMID to this day doesn’t have the necessary resources to protect the 2.7 million internally displaced persons who live in camps across Darfur. There are also around 300,000 Darfuri refugees living in neighboring Chad. Overall, the UN estimates that roughly 4.7 million people in Darfur are still affected by the conflict.

Today, fighting between the rebel movements and the government continues. Opportunistic bandits and militias have also taken advantage of the chaos in Darfur. General banditry and looting jeopardize humanitarian aid and both sides are now committing gender-based crimes. Despite this anarchist environment, the government is still considered the most responsible for the violence in Darfur. President Al-Bashir and others in his government created the anarchic conditions through their overly-violent counterinsurgency targeting innocent men, women and children. Even more, the Sudanese government has thwarted the deployment of an international peacekeeping force, dodged negotiations with the rebel groups, declined to prosecute any individuals responsible for crimes against humanity, and has expelled at least thirteen international humanitarian aid groups from Darfur. These decisions leave many Darfuris “unprotected and dispossessed” of their basic human rights.

Position Statement of Rationale

I will be constructing a memorial for the ongoing genocide in Darfur. The theme I will be trying to convey in my project is the plight of the 2.7 million unprotected and displaced persons who live in large refugee camps across Darfur. The Sudanese government has obstructed the deployment of an international peacekeeping force, and expelled thirteen international humanitarian aid groups from Darfur, causing many civilians in Darfur to continue to be unprotected and dispossessed of their basic human rights.

water

There is no major existing memorial for this particular genocide or to the millions who’ve been directly affected by it, probably because it is still ongoing and nothing is “final,” and I feel that it has faded from the American conscience in recent years. Therefore, hopefully, by creating a memorial I can help draw attention to this ongoing issue and increase awareness and support for its termination. It is important to acknowledge both those who continue to suffer and the staggering number of diseased caused by the Sudanese government. Through increased awareness, I hope that the Lick-Wilmerding community, and those who eventually read our project website, will be inclined to act and contribute to organizations such as Save Darfur, Project Enough, or find other avenues in which to help privately. I think that right now, spreading awareness and reawakening the community/public conscience are most beneficial to those impacted by the genocide.

geno front view

Genocide side view

Description, Sketch and Materials

I’m constructing a memorial for the ongoing genocide in Darfur. The theme I will be trying to convey in my project is the plight of the 2.7 million unprotected and displaced persons who live in large refugee camps across Darfur. The Sudanese government has obstructed the deployment of an international peacekeeping force, and expelled thirteen international humanitarian aid groups from Darfur, causing many civilians in Darfur to continue to be unprotected and dispossessed of their basic human rights. Theme – ethnic group, loss of land – identity

Description and Visual Choices

I model my memorial in attempt to evoke an emotional response from my viewers. This is going to be a snapshot of a moment just after a Darfuri village is rampaged by the Janjaweed. A basket, trampled by militia and fleeing civilians, is squashed and its contents are spilling out. It’s holding some desert roses; flowers represent the innocence civilians. There will be both boot prints, representing the Janjaweed, and prints of bare feet, representing civilians, on top of the flowers and basket. This model will represent how Darfuris have to literally drop everything and flee during the onset of a Janjaweed raid.

From this memorial viewers can learn about the absence of choice, and the imminent and immediate destruction of the lives of innocent civilians in the face of Janjaweed cruelty.

Location: Life size (5-6 times larger than the model) would be best in a public park/garden. Model at Lick would fit nicely somewhere indoors, maybe in the library or in the hallway outside the art room.

Materials

Clay (to make basket and flowers and the base footprints; more/less 6-7 pounds)

Fiberboard base (3ft. x 1.5ft. x 1in.)

Paints (white/red/black/orange – for flowers/basket)

geno piecegeno pieces

Sketch

IMG_2831

Supporting images:

footprintboot

desert rose

basket

Bibliography

1) “Genocide in Darfur | United Human Rights Council.” The United Human Rights Council | Educate Yourself & Others to Bring Change in the World. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2013. <http://www.unitedhumanrights.org/genocide/genocide-in-sudan.htm&gt;.

2) “Save Darfur.” Save Darfur. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2013. <http://www.savedarfur.org/&gt;.

3) Booker, Salih, and Ann-Louise Colgan. “Genocide in Darfur | The Nation.” The Nation. N.p., 12 July 2004. Web. 30 Apr. 2013. <http://www.thenation.com/article/genocide-darfur#&gt;.

4) “BBC News – Sudan profile .” BBC – Homepage. N.p., 14 Mar. 2013. Web. 30 Apr. 2013. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14095300&gt;.

5) Reeves, Eric. “Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan.” Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan. N.p., 20 Aug. 2007. Web. 30 Apr. 2013. <http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?mot774&gt;.

6) Reeves, Eric. “Darfur: The genocide the world got tired of – Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan.” Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2013. <http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article40811&gt;.

7) ” IDMC | Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Sudan .” IDMC : Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2013. <http://www.internal-displacement.org/countries/sudan&gt;.

9) Sikainga, Ahmad. “‘The World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis’: Understanding the Darfur Conflict.”Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective. The Ohio State University, College of Arts and Sciences, 5 Feb. 2009. Web. 2 May 2013. <http://origins.osu.edu/article/worlds-worst-humanitarian-crisis-understanding-darfur-conflict/page/0/0&gt;.

10) “United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: Crisis in Darfur.” Google Earth Outreach. Google, n.d. Web. 2 May 2013.

11) Alton, David . “Darfur – 10 Years On – and Genocide in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Debate in the British Parliament. | .” David Alton. N.p., 1 Mar. 2013. Web. 2 May 2013. <http://davidalton.net/2013/03/01/darfur-10-years-on-and-genocide-in-south-kordofan-and-blue-nile-debate-in-the-british-parliament/&gt;.

12) “Save Darfur | What Has Happened in Darfur?” Save Darfur. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 May 2013. <http://www.savedarfur.org/pages/primer&gt;.

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